When I was a kid, we had a stream in the field behind our house, where we would creep around when the cows weren’t let out (watching our footsteps!) and occasionally we would cross the stream. What you realize is that rocks just under or over the water, wet and dark, can be slippery. You need to be careful where you step (especially when it comes to avoiding cow deposits, but that’s a different post…)
In writing, the first chapter is your first few steps out into that stream. To get a reader to keep turning the first pages, whether agent or book buyer, you need an intriguing first line, an intriguing scene question that drags them at least a few more paragraphs in, a character doing something interesting, wanting something with some emphasis, and having a conflict to their achieving it. You want to hint at the main character’s personality, you want to promise to the reader the tone and style of your story, you want the reader to keep reading. Desperately.
And it’s not always easy, especially as not every person is really our target audience. Which makes it only that more imperative that we don’t lose those who are.
You are standing on the side of the stream, one foot outstretched, swaying, half-submerged rocks all around. You can wander any direction you want, but not all of those rocks lead to the other side of the stream. Some leave you sitting waist deep in frigid water, wondering how all those darn frogs make it look so easy.
(I think I just called published authors frogs. He he. Done in love…)
Work remains challenging, but slowly inching along on my writing and even (fractionally) my art. I’ve done a fun Sherlock Holmes fantasy short story (3k words-ish) that was for an anthology call. Likely low chance of making it in, but the story got some good feedback on OWW, and I enjoyed it considerably. And I’m trying to keep forward progress on my adult fantasy major edit. I’ve done all the editing, chopping, and reworking. So now I’m at the rewriting stage, which is a a bit daunting, as I know that this will be over 100,000 words with the new POVs I’ve put in. I like this story and want to finish it, but it is not a small task. Oh well. 🙂 I should get it done before the kids get to university. Or if I get laid off, it might go faster! 🙂 Kidding. Kind of. Work is still crazy and some days the life of a writer does beckon. But we all have good days and bad days, so I’m sure things will get better…
Happy Canada Day / Fourth of July weekend! Best.
Oh, nearly forgot, the image here is a close crop of an old image I’ve shown on the site before, and which I think is in the gallery, of a woman near a pool. A mood experiment at the time…